What I love about Twitter – inconsequential frippery

What I love about Twitter – inconsequential frippery


A lesson in frippery - my new puppy

My partner recently (and reluctantly) joined Twitter in order to promote his business. This has led to more than a few heated debates about the culture and etiquette of this social media channel. He has found himself particularly irritated by what he regards as frippery and nonsense flying around his timeline. Why on earth would anyone be interested in what I’ve had for tea? Who cares what my views are about [insert subject] that doesn’t relate to my business in the slightest?

He is finding it hard to fathom. And whilst on the surface I have been valiantly fighting Twitter’s corner, it has secretly caused me to reflect on my own behaviours and others in my timeline. Is it a problem to be inconsequential?

I’m a real fan of the ‘party’ analogy for Twitter – if you’re at a party you tend to get out what you put in – make the effort and others will reciprocate. Talk about yourself and your work/business/professional interests the whole time, and other party-goers are likely to make a hasty retreat.

Conversation is as much (if not more) about developing relationships as it is about sharing information and knowledge. And so it is in my experience on Twitter. I search out content relevant to my professional interests, but I also enjoy the odd bit of frippery in my timeline. Being inconsequential – snippets reflecting the shared experience of what it is to be human in 140 characters – is a means of creating connection. Put that way it doesn’t sound so inconsequential to me after all.

I am fascinated by our different tolerances for frippery – some people I follow steer a direct path with professional tweets on a definite subject. Others pretty much only share personal observations and quips. Most are somewhere in-between.

I like this mix. I hope frippery doesn’t put newcomers like my partner off Twitter. It would be a pretty dull party if every conversation was a broadcast sound bite. But if that’s the sort of party you like then you always have the option of only inviting people with a similar take along to it. They may come or they may choose to go elsewhere. That’s the joy of Twitter.

And yes… this post is really just a pathetic excuse to post a picture of my new puppy…

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  1. Ha Victoria, this post is funny as just the debate my husband and I have! Is it a male / female thing?! Also I ignore the frippery on twitter and scan through to bits that interest me – dont get drawn in with people i dont know and can always unfollow them with no guilt attached! it annoys me more on FB where it would be rude to unfollow a ‘friend’ yet I am getting regular updates of their dinners, TV programmes…etc which are of no interest, saying that I probably bore everyone to death with updates of my kids developments so pot calling kettle black! Also it does give you an inroad for conversation with business contacts even if not personally interesting, it can be a good ice breaker if your meeting with someone and need to build a rapport. All good fun! Em

  2. Well I have to join in here. My husband – who still proudly doesn’t have and never has had a mobile – has recently reluctantly joined LInkedIn. Every supper we get stories of how he has been ‘inundated’ with requests from people he has never heard of. Why does he want to know that Victoria Tomlinson is now connected to (I regret to say he suggested it was Stalin). I do think there is a slight male/female thing – but there are plenty of men who do get the power of connections. I suspect a lot of this is the open/privacy type characters? And I’m not really into dogs/animals, but it is a cute photo!!

  3. He’s very cute Victoria. What sort of dog is he?
    Cheers, André

    • You shouldn’t feed my desire to go on about her… But if you insist – she’s a Cavapoo 🙂

  4. Is that seriously a dog type? i am definitely not knowledgeable on these things!!

    • Afraid so…


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